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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

Why Your Furnace Is Shutting Down Early

cold-manWhen your furnace turns on to warm up your house, you expect it to run long enough to deliver an even distribution of heat throughout the rooms. If it starts to shut down early, the house will have cold spots. When a furnace behaves this way, it’s called short-cycling, and it’s a common problem we see in residential furnaces. In some cases, there’s a simple solution to short-cycling. Other times, you’ll need to call us for furnace repair in Mason, OH. When in doubt, always err on the safer side when it comes to a furnace and rely on professionals. 

Below are some of the possible sources of a furnace quitting before it gets the job done:

Clogged air filter

Clogged air filters pop up again and again as a source of trouble for heating systems—and they are so easy to avoid! If your furnace has had the same filter in place all winter, it is certainly clogged up now and causing a throttle on airflow into the HVAC system. The reduction in airflow will cause the furnace to overheat and shut down early. Change out the filter to see if this stops the problem.

Blocked air vents

A furnace can also overheat and short-cycle if the vents of the ventilation system are blocked or closed. People sometimes block or shut vents believing this will help save energy for rooms that don’t need heating. Not only does this do nothing to save energy, it will lead to short-cycling and possibly damage to the ducts. 

Thermostat issues

The furnace may be shutting down early because the thermostat is erroneously ordering it to. A common trouble with thermostats, especially older models, is that they can become miscalibrated and start to sense incorrect temperatures in the house. If the thermostat registers that the house is a few degrees warmer than it is, it will shut the furnace off early. Poor wiring can also lead to the thermostat making the furnace short-cycle. You’ll need pros to recalibrate, repair, or replace the thermostat.

Corroded or dirty flame sensor

One of the important safety features of a gas furnace is the flame sensor, which detects if the burners are lit and shuts off the gas flow if it detects that they aren’t. This stops the flooding of unburned gas into the combustion chamber. The sensor can corrode or become dirty, and it will then mistakenly think the burners aren’t lit and shut them off. We recommend having our technicians clean or replace the flame sensor.

Dying furnace

Is your furnace more than 15 years old? Or even more than 20? When a furnace of this, uhm, vintage begins to short cycle, it usually means the heater is too worn down to effectively do its job and it’s time to consider your replacement options. Our technicians will give the system an inspection and tell you if the best choice going forward is a new furnace. 

Call Bartels Heating & Cooling “For a Comfortable Way of Life”! We have 24-hour service available when you need fast heating repairs.

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